Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Go Jason Waterfalls

Chloe goes back to school today. She's the last one to get back to some semblance of real life. Now it's just me and the cats. Sigh. Hand to the forehead. (Lisa's conscience here. If you're believing that self-pitying  hogwash, do not operate heavy machinery, try to cross the street alone, or answer any emails from Nigerian lawyers because one of those brain hamsters has sneaked out the back for a smoke break.)

I'm helping her move in today. Every year when we do this, I'm reminded of just how quickly the time passes. Considering we started out this summer break with the mess about Cambridge, things turned out pretty nicely. We hung out quite a bit and I'm really digging the grown-ass woman she's become. I'm not losing a little girl, I'm gaining a friend.

One of the best parts of the summer was a long discussion about what she remembered from her childhood. We remember different things, but I had the clear advantage of being the Mom. It was a treat to hear what she remembered and to see how it aligned or didn't with my memories.

She shared with me a little story about a song we used to listen to a lot when she was just a tiny thing. She thought the lyrics were "Don't go Jason Waterfalls....." That drew us into a rambling conversation about what it's like to want your kids to fly while you stand on the ground holding the net behind your back. You want them to know that you believe they can fly.

Which took us into another more grown up convo about chasing waterfalls versus sticking to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to. I know I pretend to be all laissez-faire and shit with my Parenting by Benign Neglect, but you have to know that it's a lot of bravado. In other words, I have a Ph.D. in Worrying. Alas, they grow and all you can do is hope they heard you you saying the right things often enough.

Even so, I'm keeping that net handy. Maybe more for me.

Steve Poltz covering TLC's Waterfalls


  1. Hang in there, friend. Another favorite tune of mine from that era is Til Tuesday's "Love in a Bathroom."

  2. Yep, we know it's bravado.
    You're the mom I hope to grow into. For as much chaos as life has thrown at you, your relationship with your kids is open and honest and wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing that part of you with me.

  3. Ah, time... Events can seem like they happened a hundred years ago and just a moment ago, all at once. So bittersweet. In some ways, Chloe will always be that first little baby you brought home from the hospital. How do parents do it? How do they let go, encourage their kids to be individuals and spread their wings? It's an amazing process and how *could* you ever let go of that net? ~ "Don't Go, Jason Waterfalls" brought tears to my eyes and was the perfect companion to your piece ...

  4. You're doing it all wrong, you with your actual parenting and such. Just hand your kids a barrel and say, good luck sucker.

  5. you may have thought you had us fooled with that benign neglect thing. We know better. Hey, my oldest is 26 and I'm still holding the net. It's got to have a really LONG handle...but I still can't let go of it!

  6. Oh yes. I also have the PHD in Worrying. I worry about my 15 year old every second, of every day.

    PS: Randal Graves comment made me laugh so much I actually joked on my coffee.

  7. I love reading about your relationship with Chloe. I hope that my relationship with Josie (and Zeke, for that matter) develops similarly.

  8. It's funny that we remember our own childhoods as long but witness those of our children blasting by like the lead car at the Indy 500. You've done well and will continue doing so.

  9. I only worry when they're in my presence. When they're out of my sight, they really are out of my mind. I'm praying it stays like that.

  10. Totally on board with the net behind the back thing.

    How 'bout them hamsters and just what is it that they're smokin'?

    That part about our children growing up to be our friends: it's so true and so perfect!

    Oh yeah; I agree with Meleah--Randall's thought is so fitting!


  11. From all signs, you are one terrific mother.

    Remember that, even when one of your kids tells you that you're a horrible one (which they all do, at some point)...

  12. of course, now i will only be able to sing this song with these words. and i'm sure i'll end up making more new ones to better go with "jason" over "chasing"

    in the same way our family sings, "every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you."

  13. "holding a net behind your back" - yes.

    I love "Jason Waterfalls" (and Amyg's carnivore family, who are always ready)

    My own confession - I actually thought Willow Smith's (I KNOW) song was "I wear my hair like a boy." And, I felt vindication when my son told me he liked my version better.

  14. I know I'm really lame about responding to comments these days. I'm that girlfriend who takes and takes, but never gives.

    Anyway, have I told you guys how much I adore you? Because I do. Seriously much. ADORE.

  15. My daughter is four and when she grows up I really hope that we have a relationship like you do with your daughter...


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